Stopping the Hate Talk: 5 Ways to a Better You

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

“I hate my hair, my arms, my legs”  “I look so fat in these pants.” “Why can’t I look like that other girl? She always looks so perfect; she makes me sick.” “If I had all the money in the world and could afford a personal trainer, I could look like that too.”

How many times do we say these things to ourselves or about others? Why are we so degrading to ourselves and other women? It doesn’t matter your age: young girl, teenager, young adult, older adult, pre- baby body, post- baby body. When does it stop? When do you decide that you are enough and that God made you the way you are. As a teenager, I thought myself pretty; I thought myself confident. It wasn’t until middle adulthood that I started to doubt myself. There have been plenty of times that I have looked in the mirror and thought that I did not like the way I looked. Part of my problem is that I have not been treating my body right and I have had two babies and it really does change your body!  What do you hate about yourself? What do you love about yourself?  Which one do you think about the most?

Self-Worth is defined as the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person; self-esteem; self respect.  Do you place value in yourself? Do you have respect for yourself?  Do you think of yourself as worthy and beautiful?

All this self degrading hate talk stops here.  IT STOPS HERE! I challenge you here-forth that when you look in the mirror you find one thing you like about yourself, just one. Daily. Yes, DAILY!

There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8: 31-39) , but He still wants us to take care of ourselves and our bodies. The following things help me to take care of myself and help me feel good about my own self esteem.

  1. Get up and Move!  Whether it is taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood, an aerobics video in the comfort of your home, or training for a race, get up and move.  Start TODAY! Even ten minutes a day can make a difference. Make it work. Maybe that means climbing stairs during a short break at work or parking in the furthest parking lot. Sometimes, for me, that means having a dance party with my 3 year old. Or I have an aerobic app on my phone that lets me choose 5 to 10 minute increments. Sometimes my 3 year old and 5 month old join in the fun. One thing I’m going to try in the next few weeks is running before my husband leaves for work!

2. Eat healthy! Of course there are lots of arguments about what is the best diet or supplement out there.Think before you eat! Is this particular food going to make me feel good or energized? I’m not saying to never have that piece of chocolate, i’m just suggesting you think twice about it. This is definitely one of my biggest challenges. I have a huge sweet tooth!  It’s about lifestyle change. While I don’t follow it strictly and I am not an expert, my personal belief is that a plant based diet is best for health and energy. Commit to make a change. Just eating more veggies and fruit can make a difference! Progress, not perfection!

3. Challenge your mind! Take time to learn. Read, whether an actual book, a website,e-books,newspaper, or a magazine. The world is full of great minds. You are one of them!

4. Feed your soul!  This is the most important point. Make time to pray or read your Bible and talk to God. I try to get up before my children in order for this to happen. Now lately, that has not gone like I planned. I have an almost 6 month old who wakes up in the middle of the night, and well, I am grumpy if I don’t get enough sleep. On those days, I try to read while I’m nursing him. Many times I’m praying in my car on the way to work. Those two things, especially the prayer, make a huge difference in how the rest of my day goes, and how I feel about my self as a person. I am a much better mom, wife, and friend when I make time to pray and read God’s word. End of story.

5. Take time for yourself! I don’t care what that looks like or how much time you say you don’t have. For me it looks like time to write, or time for a hike, a walk around the neighborhood, sipping on a hot cup of tea or coffee on my back deck. Coffee or lunch or breakfast with a friend, even if it has to be over the phone. Perhaps you can get up 10 minutes before the rest of your house,just to sip and drink your coffee.  Maybe once a month, you can find a babysitter or your significant other can watch the children, and you can go get coffee, by yourself or with a close friend. Find a walking partner. Train for a race with your co-workers. Sometimes, I take an extra long shower because that may be the only time I have had to myself that day. I breathe in the steam and take pleasure in the solitude and not having to explain what I’m doing. Everybody leaves you alone when you are in the shower (most of the time).

Challenge yourself to love more. We don’t need all the hate talk. Life is hard enough without being so mean to ourselves.

What are some tips you have on increasing self-worth?

Thanks for Reading! Please share with those extraordinary women you think need a reminder of how awesome they are!

Extraordinary Moments of the Week, December 28th-January 3rd

1. Sunday: I was at the grocery store checkout counter; the lady in front of me left her buggy in the middle of the aisle. Instead of walking around it,  I moved it where it belonged. (though I admit with a little grumbling). I hope it at least helped the employees a little.

2. Sunday: We received good news this week that a friend’s breast mass was benign! So thankful for that!

3. Monday: Usually, I go to Costco with my husband on an evening or weekend. I decided this week to go on Monday by myself. (we really needed some stuff before the weekend!). I was glad I did! As it was 10:00 in the morning, it was not busy.  We (my Sophie and I) were also able to enjoy the sample stations. (usually there are a hundred people waiting in line, and I just don’t have that much patience or time to wait in line!)

4. Tuesday:  I enjoy Christmas lights all season, but I tend to  enjoy them more after Christmas. Maybe it’s because a small part of me is ready for the new year, but I think mostly I know they are only going to be on for a few more days. Then we will have to wait another 11 months!  Bittersweet.

5. On Wednesday, I was able to enjoy an afternoon to myself. Now, I love spending time with my daughter and husband, but I do enjoy those rare moments of times where it is just me. I did end up cleaning most of the day, but it was without interruptions! (I forgot how productive I can be without a toddler following my every step!)

6. New Year’s day and New year’s eve, we were able to enjoy catching up with dear friends. We only need to make more time in our daily lives!

7. Friday: Dance party with my little girl. (And no, I did not video it!)

One last moment that was too sweet to not share: Tonight while putting my Sophie to bed, I was able to rock with her. Now this may not seem like much, but for us it’s rare. Sophie is usually asking to be put her in her crib and is not willing to sit still for longer than a minute. But tonight, but she sat in my lap with her precious head bundled against my chest, and we listened to the rain. My little bit of heaven on earth.

Don’t forget to share any moments you had this week!

Matthew 5:16 (ESV): In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Neighboring in extraordinary ways

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Lady in Peru who just received new glasses!
Lady in Peru who just received new glasses!

 

My original plan was to focus on women (and still is). However, Friday night I was inspired to write on wha it means to be a good neighbor. Halloween night was our first time to take our little girl trick or treating. We are walking door to door (which was bizarre seeing how I have not done that since I was a little girl. ) We go to this one house; they have a whole spread set up in their garage: cheese dip, chili, sweets, cupcakes, the whole nine yards. They apparently provide this every year for all their neighbors. Now, we have lived in this neighborhood for four years now. I have walked/ran by the this house almost every day for four years. We have never officially met the couple that lives in this house (we have exchanged a few words and a smile and a wave as I stroll by) But tonight we meet three or four neighbors we have never met. It was inspiring, and to keep with the theme extraordinary!  To know there are still goo neighbors (in spite of the image the media portrays), is uplifting. It inspires me to be a better neighbor. It inspires me to make cookies for my neighbor, to play with neighbor kids just because I care. to stop and talk to that neighbor in the yard.  Of course, this is not the first time we have met extraordinary neighbors. When we first moved in, our neighbors on either side of us were awesome. One would be mowing our yard before we had our own mower. The other was watching our (then) puppy for free. Unfortunately, they have both since moved, one house replaced with equally awesome neighbors. The other side, I am sad to say, we have not met. My challenge to you is this: STOP, LOOK around, LISTEN to your neighbors. Mow that one yard, walk a dog, be a listening ear. In everybody’s own way, we can all be extraordinary neighbors, so let’s reach inside ourselves and put ourself out there. The challenge for the week: find someone in your life that you do not know, or do not know very well, and go out of your way to provide an act of kindness. It does not have to be mind altering; it is the little things that make the most extraordinary ripples sometimes.  Visit a nursing home.  Offer to babysit a co-workers kids so they can have a break or a date.  Pay for someone’s coffee or groceries.

Be sure to share your challenge and please share any stories where a stranger’s act of kindness made a difference for you.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me… And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”  (Matthew 25: 35-36, 40; ESV)